Author Advances End 2009 Debate

PublishingPerspectives.com today took another look at a debate much talked about throughout 2009, choosing to highlight the views of Bob Miller and MJ Rose.  I think it highly relevant that the last key news story of 2009 should be author advances. It may be the area in publishing where we will see most change in 2010. I think the new year will be a tumultuous year in every aspect of publishing, with consolidation in the industry being the marker in the first few months, leading to great change – good as well as bad – as we see out 2010.

“I tend to lean more to Miller’s view on the future of author advances. We need to have publisher and author working together, rather than the author feeling isolated from the publisher’s marketing machine.


I have a lot of time for MJ Rose’s take on the publishing industry, but I think she is barking up the wrong tree here. Extracting marketing expenditure on a book release from the author’s advance seems only relevant to mid and top-listed authors. For most authors, their advance is so modest–rarely amounting to an annual wage–an advance minus marketing expenses would result in virtually no advance at all. I don’t think it is viable for most authors, and if anything, would have an adverse effect, with agents and authors at the bottom end following their bestselling cousins by looking for hugely inflated amounts. And that’s not where we need to be going right now.


Miller nails it more on the head. He at least recognizes many authors are getting involved in publicity and marketing of their titles like never before. And that should not go unrewarded by way of an increased royalty share.”

My own comments on ‘What is the Future of the Book advance?’ over on PublishingPerspectives

Our final post of the year, later tonight, will provide a crystal ball view of 2010, both serious and lighthearted.
Thanks for all your support in 2009.
Happy New Year!

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